Winter Weather

Winter Weather Preparedness and Safety Tips

As winter fast approaches once again, we thought it would be a good time to cover some winter weather safety and preparedness tips.  The National Weather Service (NWS) has updated their page and offered a 2017-2018 Winter Weather Outlook.  It looks like weather predictions for this winter are pretty average, with the northern states forcasted to be a little wetter than normal. 

Winter Weather Warning, Winter Weather Watch, Winter Weather Advisory

Lions and Tigers and Bears…Oh my!  There are so many winter weather terms.  How do you keep up?  According to the NWS, a Winter Storm Warning means there is high confidence that a winter storm will produce heavy snow, sleet, or freezing rain.  A Winter Storm Watch is similar, but just means those conditions are possible.  By contrast, a Winter Weather Advisory merely means that wintry weather is expected, meaning light amounts of wintry precipitation.    

How To Dress For Cold Weather 

A big part of winter weather preparedness is knowing how to dress for the extreme cold and other winter conditions.  We’ve all heard it before, but sometimes a little repetition is what we need to drive it home; Wearing layers will keep you warmer.  Make sure to wear gloves and a hat and cover as much exposed skin as possible during extremely cold temperatures.  Here’s a nice infographic from the NWS on how to dress for cold weather.   

Winter Weather Safety

Much of the United States is affected by the cold at some point throughout the winter season.  When mixed with winds, the wind chill can become dangerous.  With this, comes the threat of hypothermia and frostbite.  Hypothermia is when your body can’t produce heat as fast as it’s losing it.  Frostbite forms when your extremities get too cold, typically on exposed skin.  In order to combat these threats, make sure to cover up as much of your skin as possible when going out in the cold.  Wear layers dictated by the temperature as shown above.  When it’s extremely cold outside the best prevention is to just stay inside.

Some FAQs and Winter Weather Tips

What’s the difference between a winter weather advisory vs warning?  What is worse a winter weather advisory or watch?

Warnings are the most severe, followed by watches, followed by a winter weather advisory.  The difference is basically the confidence and severity of the wintry weather coming.

Where can I find a winter weather map?

The Weather Channel publishes a winter weather map that shows snowfall forecasts and snow cover maps.

What is a winter weather storm?

A winter storm is just what it sounds like.  They are classified as such when wintry precipitation occurs.  That could be sleet, snow, or ice and can range from a few hours to several days.  Much of the time, extreme cold temperatures also accompany winter storms.

What is a winter weather alert?

Winter weather advisories, watches, and warnings are all forms of winter weather alerts.

Where can I find NOAA weather alerts?

All National Weather Service watches, warnings, and advisories are displayed on this page by county.

Winter Weather Driving Tips:

Before winter hits, winterize your vehicle and pack an emergency kit.  Before you leave, check road conditions and make sure you have your cell phone or other communication with you just in case.

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